28 February, 2013

Violet Mackerel book giveaway... with love from Anna Branford

Are you a Violet Mackerel fan?
My children & I most certainly are.
Are you an Anna Branford fan?
I AM!

If you are not yet familiar with either, you're in luck.
 I am ever so pleased to be the one to introduce you!

Having read most of the books in the Violet Mackerel series, 
my boys and I came up with some words
to describe the character of Violet Mackerel:~
Likeable.  Adventurous. Positive. 
Thoughtful. Brilliant. Giving. Funny.
Friendly. Loving. Happy. Considerate.
Resourceful. Creative. Inspiring. Kind. 

The stories themselves are relatable. The way Violet speaks involves us from the first page.  The language is very clear, unpretentious and engaging. 
The themes and happenings always passionate, interesting and often surprising.

 You can see why this Hinterland Mama is extremely happy to read all of Anna's Violet Mackerel books to my gorgeously growing, absorbent and impressionable young children.
And newly released is a fifth book in the series!
"Violet Mackerel's Possible Friend"


Each book has it's own special tale to tell, and can be read independently.
They are available worldwide - from all good bookstores !

Here is a little about Australian author, Anna Branford:~
"Anna Branford is a children's writer and a maker of things. She lives in a small flat in Melbourne between large piles of wool and felt and she is the author of the Violet Mackerel series. When she was little her favourite books were Beverly Cleary's Ramona stories and Philippa Pearce's Tom's Midnight Garden and whenever she gets a cold they quickly become her favourites again."


...and now to the Giveaway!
Anna says:~
"This is a prize that combines two of my absolute favourites - a book and some small things made by hand. If you read the book, Violet Mackerel's Possible Friend, you will find that it is about a girl called Violet who is a brilliant maker-of-things. She makes something particularly special for the girl next door, who she thinks and hopes might be a possible friend."
 
For your chance to win your very own copy of Anna's brand-new title
in the Violet Mackerel series - 
and a very special hand-made gift from Anna herself.
We ask:~
"Have you ever been given a gift that someone made for you by hand? What was special about it?"
 Please write your answer in the comments below.


 Entries close 8pm Wednesday, 6th March (QLD, AEST). 

*DRAW CLOSED*
*THANK YOU TO ALL WHO ENTERED!*
*I WILL POST THE WINNER SOON*


  The Giveaway is open Worldwide.
The THREE eligible winners will be randomly selected and notified soon after.
Please include an email address with your entry

DO go and have a look around Anna Branford's website

- www.annabranford.com -
to enjoy more of this talented lady.
And don't forget to say Hello.
She may very well be a Possible Friend.

 Good luck everyone!  

25 February, 2013

Balloon Rocket - indoor science fun, on a rainy day

I am really enjoying our science play at the moment.
Learning through action. Most definitely without realising it.

Mostly my boys experiment with all sorts of fun ingredients 
& materials themselves, but now and again I'll remember a project 
I loved when I was young - then we'll all join in together.

Balloon Rockets were one such project. 
Did you do this when you were young?

How to make a Balloon Rocket 
Attach a length (about 2-4 metres) of string at one end, to a chair or door handle.
We chose a book case, as I wanted to surprise my boys with the rocket travelling upwards... defying gravity!

Blow up a balloon. 

Attach a peg (or hold) the neck so as the air stays inside, 
while you sticky tape it to a straw.

Thread the straw onto the length of string.
(Make sure the neck of the balloon is facing the start point

and the inflated part of the balloon facing the end point)

Hold the string taught and then let go of the balloon end 
(or remove the peg)!
We've  seen in action the principle: 
 every action has an equal and opposite reaction. 
(Escaping air propels the balloon in the opposite direction)
We have also learned the effects of Air pressure, Thrust, Force and Acceleration.
All through play and experimentation.

And all we did, was make balloon rockets.
*smile*

23 February, 2013

Original Bilby and Chickens - in felt

They are here!
My own patterns available to you in plenty of time to make your own for Easter.

I encourage you to enjoy the process. 
Get a little creative and tweak the pattern to your own skills and liking.

 The noses and tails are different in each of these pictures. 
Which do you think is cutest?

The colours and stitching make for a more dramatic difference in these two mother hens.
Perhaps an Australorp and Rhode Island Red?

What gifts are you making this Easter?

19 February, 2013

Two hours of kids activites with rainbow cups

It's been raining A LOT of late up this way.
Being inventive with what we have to hand 
- creating activities with my little guys, is every day life around here.
Do you own Outdoor stacker cups?

Like these? (Ah... memory lane)

or these?
We filled an entire two hours playing with our set recently.
Here are the ideas we had:

1. Collect rain water! and other garden-like treasures.

2. Split the colours up between children and fill each cup with as many similar coloured items as can be found (of the right size) around the house. 
An alternate kind of treasure hunt.

3. Take each cup - 1 by one - and shout out foods that are similar colours! 
(This was REALLY fun - children can be so creative.)

 4. Tip the cups upside down and lay out in a triangular pattern. 
Yes, like a set of bowling pins. Then use socks for a bowling ball!

5. Balancing... on our heads as we walked, danced, hopped, jumped. On our chins, on the back of our hands... on one foot. Oh My!
 
 6. Our cups were clear and showed the light through, 
which enabled a lesson in art...
We also used natural food colourings to colour water and pour those inside different coloured cups - for similar effects.  

7. There of course was also stacking, and balancing. Turning them this way and that to achieve both. We found with the shape they are... they don't roll too well.

 8. Throwing isn't something we often do inside. 
However we have small beanbag and felt toys on our Nature Table. 
Using a playcloth as a marker to stand behind 
- we took turns trying to get these into the cups.

9. This was my Little Pipkin's idea. He LOVES to sing. 
Did you know the cups make your voice echo louder when you sing into them? We discovered they most certainly do!
(We found Bob Marley tunes worked perfectly
As did holding them like a microphone and performing for one another!)

10. Finally, a quiet activity - water colour painting.  
Cups are a vessel after all.

What creative cup games can you think of?

17 February, 2013

Sing me a Rainbow... SUNDAYS: 17-Feb-13

Sundays mean many things, to many people.
To me, this is the day to 
Slow down
Spend time with family, 
Simplify
and to Smile.
Rainbows in all their forms, 
always brighten my day & lift my heart. 
I hope you love them too.

Sunset on an empire, New Mexico by Jim Nix
 Source: Nomadic Pursuits


Pattern & Tutorial for Ribbon Plushie
 Source: Chez Beeper Bebe

Aurora Box Kite
 Source: Kitepower.com.au

> Please leave a link to your own Rainbow 
in the comments, 
 for others to Seek and enjoy.<


Feel free to include this image
in your own post that you're linking to.
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